Pilaster vs. Buttress

These message board pages are now for archival purposes only.  Please visit https://www.nachi.org/forum/ for our most recent forum discussions.

Pilaster vs. Buttress

AuthorMessage
Michael D Thomas
NACHI Member: No
(as of 3/25/07)
Inactive Poster
Posts: 37
Posted: Mar 11, 2005 1:42 PM       Post Subject:

Please Note: This user is a non-member guest and is in no way affiliated with NACHI.
Can someone give me a description of the difference between a pilaster and a buttress used to reinforce a foundation wall? - Thanks.
Back to Top
Steve Taylor

Taylor Inspection Services, Inc.
NACHI Member: Yes
(as of 3/25/07)
NACHI Member
Posts: 92
User: staylor
Posted: Mar 11, 2005 6:44 PM       Post Subject:
A pilaster is a column built within a wall and projects out past the wall plane. It is designed to carry a load from above- not to strengthen the wall against lateral loads.
A buttress is typically an exterior pier of masonry, ofter sloped, and used to strengthen or support a wall or prevent movement from lateral loads.
Back to Top
Kevin McMahon

ABC Home Inspection, LLC
NACHI Member: Yes
(as of 3/25/07)
NACHI Member
Posts: 3363
User: kmcmahon
Posted: Mar 11, 2005 7:14 PM       Post Subject:


A butress
Back to Top
Kevin McMahon

ABC Home Inspection, LLC
NACHI Member: Yes
(as of 3/25/07)
NACHI Member
Posts: 3363
User: kmcmahon
Posted: Mar 11, 2005 7:17 PM       Post Subject:
A pilaster
Back to Top
David Valley

Certified Massachusetts Home Inspections
NACHI Member: Yes
(as of 3/25/07)
NACHI Member
Posts: 3343
User: dvalley
Posted: Mar 11, 2005 9:27 PM       Post Subject:

--
David Valley
MAB Member

Massachusetts Certified Home Inspections
http://www.masscertified.com

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."

Back to Top
Michael D Thomas
NACHI Member: No
(as of 3/25/07)
Inactive Poster
Posts: 37
Posted: Mar 12, 2005 8:32 PM       Post Subject:

Please Note: This user is a non-member guest and is in no way affiliated with NACHI.
staylor wrote:
A pilaster is a column built within a wall and projects out past the wall plane. It is designed to carry a load from above- not to strengthen the wall against lateral loads.
A buttress is typically an exterior pier of masonry, ofter sloped, and used to strengthen or support a wall or prevent movement from lateral loads.


This is what's confusing me.

The illustrations on this site (the same two mentioned by dvaley above) show a plaister used to control lateral movement.

https://www.nachi.org/tips/0257.gif

and show little difference for a buttress

https://www.nachi.org/tips/0256.gif
Back to Top
David Valley

Certified Massachusetts Home Inspections
NACHI Member: Yes
(as of 3/25/07)
NACHI Member
Posts: 3343
User: dvalley
Posted: Mar 13, 2005 3:33 PM       Post Subject:
Mike,

A buttress is simply a structural support element in a building, usually constructed of concrete or masonry, built against a wall for support.

A pilaster is simply a pillar or column set into a wall as an ornamental feature. An exterior mass of masonry set at an angle to strengthen a wall or support

--
David Valley
MAB Member

Massachusetts Certified Home Inspections
http://www.masscertified.com

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."

Back to Top
Robert OConnor

Eagle Engineering & Inspections
NACHI Member: Yes
(as of 3/25/07)
NACHI Member
Posts: 1936
User: roconnor
Posted: Mar 14, 2005 12:14 PM       Post Subject:
staylor wrote:
A pilaster is a column built within a wall and projects out past the wall plane. It is designed to carry a load from above- not to strengthen the wall against lateral loads.

Michael D Thomas wrote:
This is what's confusing me. The illustrations on this site show a plaister used to control lateral movement.

Actually a pilaster can be used either like a column to support vertical load, or it can be used like a beam spanning from floor to floor to provide lateral support for a wall. However, most people think in terms of a pilaster acting like a column. A buttress is a free standing element only used to provide lateral support for a wall (similar to a bookshelf support bracket).

Note that there is an inconsistency in Tip #0257 "Foundation Repairs - Adding a Pilaster". The Tip notes that a connection to the floor will increase the strength, but the way it's used there it would have very little strength without that connection

--
Robert O'Connor, PE
Eagle Engineering ?
Eagle Eye Inspections ?
NACHI Education Committee

I am absolutely amazed sometimes by how much thought goes into doing things wrong

Back to Top